Two years ago, the Lord knitted my heart to the great country of South Africa. Now, I have an entire family with hearts afire for these precious people. It is difficult to describe the impact a trip like this makes on your life. It is truly an adventure you must experience for yourself to understand. The message I tried so hard to convey once I returned in 2010...Alyse, Bryce, and Nana now "get it." As we left South Africa and our wonderful friends on Tuesday, we left in tears!
The journey was LOOOOONNNGGGGG! Our days were FUUUUULLLLL! Our trip was blessed beyond measure! Thanks to everyone who supported us in prayer.
It was winter there, but let me say that their winters are extremely mild. The days were sunny and 70's, which made for pleasant ministry conditions. Thanks to the selfless partners and friends of RTBM,Inc. we cooked and fed over 200 meals to the homeless of inner-city Durban and delivered week-long food packets to 100 families in nearby villages of Chatsworth and The Valley of a Thousand Hills. Our hearts were touched and changed by their living conditions and joyful countenance! It was fulfilling to actually purchase, package, and deliver the goods to each home personally. Many of the families invited us into their "homes" for special prayer. The message we shared with them came from Psalm 139 - "God is intimately acquainted with each of you and your needs because HE formed you in your mother's womb and knew you before you were ever born. He loves you so much that HE even spoke to us, over 9000 miles away, to come and personally meet your needs." We diligently portrayed the goodness of our Mighty God because Romans 4:2 says, "It is the goodness of God which leads man to repentance." People respond to your goodness before they respond to your message!
Much preparation went into the "WORD" God prepared for the people of South Africa and their hearts were ready to receive. It always amazes me how we each have the power to change others simply through our own personal experiences and testimonies. I shared with the women on several occasions all that God has so graciously taught me about Faith, the power of His Word, the Dominion Christ left within each of us and our call to become living sacrifices unto God through a renewed mind. The message not only touched lives, but report after report came forth that these women will never be the same because there has been a shift in their mindsets. Hallelujah! God always does exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or think. Isaiah 55:11 says, "So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth; It shall not return void, but it shall go forth and accomplish that thing which I sent it to accomplish."
I thank God for allowing my children and mother to experience this trip with me. Many lasting memories were made together. Alyse and Bryce testify to the life-changing experience this trip has truly been for them. It was a great honor to watch them minister so freely and comfortably to others. They each had several opportunities to address the multitudes and pray openly for specific needs. I give all glory to God for the rich inheritance and firm foundation evident within them. They belong to God and I release them for His work and will. This will not be their last trip to South Africa if they have anything to do with it!
Nana did wonderful on the trip. With the loss of Papa last year, this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. Physically, she was a trooper. 64 has nothing on this lady. Her precious spirit warmed the hearts of everyone she met and before leaving she became "nana" to them as well. I am grateful for the support she always gives to me and this ministry. We work well together and much honor and love go out to my mother.
I have attached a few of the 2000 pictures we took. My family was amazed at the beauty of this country's landscape. To fully grasp the experiences we were given, you can find many of our photos on my Facebook page under Jeneen Bullen Kohler. Once I catch my breath I will also post several on the website. Until next time, have a wonderfully, blessed week. Be God's goodness to everyone you encounter! I love you all...
I mentioned to you that in the early part of 2010, God required Steve and I to sell the beautiful dream home we had been allowed to build, complete with two-thirds of it’s possessions and transfer to Dallas, Texas. At first, this was not an easy thing on my flesh! I loved our home. Everywhere you glanced was the character unique to “Kohler” style. We had spent twenty years accumulating furniture that we loved. Everything was just perfect and exactly how we liked it!
Our home was filled with family, friends and ministry 24/7. We had what others refer to as an open, revolving door. I can count on one hand the number of other houses our children spent the night at while growing up because our house was “the house.”
When the time came to sell, a part of me broke as I began to wonder if we would EVER again have another home we loved as much as this one? Fear spoke trying to abort the instruction of God, “If you sell all your furniture you’ll never acquire this many nice things EVER again.” But, I heard the voice of my God saying, “If you don’t step out and cross this river, you will never receive what I have for you on the other side.”
CHANGE…the forbidden word!!!!!
Most cringe at the mere thought of it. Others are praying for it, if it occurs on their own terms of course. But, through the years change has developed a predominant reputation for inconveniencing lives as well as our own self-made schedules and plans. Few desire change and even when we are FORCED to change, we resist the process and unwillingly endure under a load of stress, anxiety and the desire for what “once was.” Change is rarely ever welcomed or truly embraced.
However, God has given me a fresh revelation regarding change. I now view it as the prerequisite to possessing one's Promised Land. So often, we pray and ask God to take us to higher ground and lead us to the life HE destined for us. All the while, we limit His plans through our inability to trust and embrace change. Only when we can truly surrender EVERYTHING to Him will we find ourselves exactly where He desires us to be...The Blessed place...The place He created that is perfect for YOUR gifts, desires, and abilities. I sit some days and meditate on all the wonderful experiences I would have missed in my life had I chosen not to trust Him! I want all that He has for me and I now realize that requires embracing change when it comes calling.
Life is very different for me these days. How refreshing it is! I absolutely LOVE Texas and the Jeneen I was two years ago no longer exists. As God promised, ALL THINGS have become new. I have been filled with an exciting new approach to ministry, fresh revelation, new compassions, and growth I could have never acquired any other way AND I am thrilled to report that God has once again given us the most beautiful, well-suited home. It is unlike anything we have previously ever desired in a home (even THAT changed) and it is perfect for this season of our lives. We moved in exactly two years from the very weekend we made our transfer to Texas! God is such a God of Timing! After not having our own home and renting for two years, I now walk around in daily amazement at the goodness of God. (Well, I at least had one week to walk around in it!) That “timing of God” is sending me to South Africa only one week after getting settled into our new home. I guess I can look forward to decorating once I return…HaHa. Ministry is calling and I joyfully accept.
Remember this: Change will reveal where you have truly placed your trust. Is it in the material possessions you’ve worked so many years to acquire? Is it in money? Or is it merely in the comfort zone you’ve created for yourself that you’re not willing to step outside of?
What change is God requiring of YOU today?
My prayer is that you will not view it with reluctance, but with joy. Knowing that God will never ask you to make a change if He does not have blessing, spiritual growth and promotion in mind! If you want these, you MUST walk the winding path of change. For on the other side is the Blessed Place God has been trying to get you to. I love all of you with His great love…
In 2006, Steve and I were blessed to build our dream home from the ground up. I was sitting at one of Bryce’s baseball games minding my own business when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “You’re going to be building a house soon.” This blog does not afford me ample space to list the miracles God performed in bringing this promise to fruition, but suffice it to say, it was quite a powerful and exciting journey.
Deep into the building process, the Lord spoke again, “You will live in this house for a season and be VERY blessed and then I will require it of you.” I never fully understood what He meant by this, but as you well know God means what He says and sure enough three and a half years later God required us to sell our beautiful home, complete with all the contents and move quickly to Dallas, Texas.
I was preaching in South Africa when I received the news from Steve that we would be moving. The move literally took place in three weeks. Transferring so quickly, we decided it was best to rent for a year until we could learn more about the Dallas area. Finding a house to rent wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I remember feeling overwhelmed! I simply buckled my seatbelt and set out for a new journey with God.
One day while in prayer about a rental house, God said, “What do you want in this house? Make a list and write it down on paper.” I seriously had to think for a moment because God had never asked me such a question before. I quickly retrieved a tablet of paper and began jotting down the desires of my heart in detail.
3000 square feet
hardwood floors downstairs
a swimming pool complete with a fountain flowing into it
a hot tub
and a nice yard
I made two trips to Dallas in search of rental property, but with no success. One Sunday evening my cell phone rang. It was a pastor I had been privileged to meet while visiting Dallas, but knew little about. His voice on the other end relayed this message, “We were having a Bible study at the home of a friend tonight and one of the prayer requests was that they needed to rent their beautiful home very quickly and needed everyone to pray that God would grant them wonderful renters. I am wondering if you and Steve would like to meet us at the property in a few minutes to see if this house might be an option for you?” “Sure,” I replied with great excitement and a pounding heart.
In less than thirty minutes, we arrived at the house and as you can probably guess, it was complete with every single detail on my list. Needless to say, we put a deposit on the house and I immediately traveled back to Tennessee to meet with United Van Lines about transporting our personal items. My heart and soul rejoiced with God over faithfully meeting the desires of my heart and I joyfully witnessed to friends and family about God’s goodness.
On my final drive back to Dallas, the enemy started talking to me. He said, “You’ve witnessed to everybody that this house has EVERY SINGLE DETAIL that you wrote on your list, but it does not. It doesn’t have the fountain flowing into the pool! So, I guess God isn’t all that great after all now is He?” For the first time, I realized satan was exactly right. In all of my excitement I never even noticed there was not a fountain flowing into the pool. I felt such condemnation in my soul, not because God didn’t deliver, but because I had witnessed to many about God’s goodness and His attention to every detail and I felt like I had unknowingly misrepresented the situation.
Twelve hours later, I arrived in Dallas and went immediately to the property to place our dog, Maxx, in the fenced back yard. I walked around to the pool and there before my eyes was the most beautiful fountain flowing out of the hot tub into the pool. The owner came around the corner and said, “The fountain has been broken for a long time, but we had it repaired for you yesterday.” I stood there in utter amazement and cried! GOD DID CARE ABOUT EVERY SINGLE DETAIL! And furthermore, I did not misrepresent anything whatsoever!
One thing I have learned the past few years is this:
GOD IS WAITING FOR US TO ASK HIM FOR THE DEEPEST DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS!
Yes, I already know what you’re thinking..."God does not have time to be interested in what you desire. Surely, He must have bigger and more important details to be concerned with?" That is exactly the mindset of most Christians, but they are wrong! God owns everything and He is always willing and desirous to bless us if we will only dare to ASK.
As a mother, I absolutely love to bless the socks off my children and I have come to realize that God feels the exact same way about each one of His children. I am privileged to lead a victoriously, blessed life in every area due to the faithful teachings of the Holy Spirit. I am willing to take my heavenly Father at His Word and simply ask.
You might try it sometime???? But, of course, if you just cannot get your tiny thinking wrapped around such a big revelation of truth, that is perfectly fine too. I’ll just ask for what belongs to you as well...hahaha